Wednesday, February 20, 2013

a day in the life...


a pedestrian might only see an ordinary village
not even worth the time it'd take to pillage
but gaze closer and you'll see the opposite of strife
let me take you on a tour of my daily life

slipping out of my meth induced dream
almost time for school, it would seem
tintinnabulation, the siren did just ring
learners congregate in queues, mid-sing

trekking to school through deep sand and all
luckily, that learner did not just see me fall
fraternizing with my colleagues, my friends
while a learner approaches me with a problem to mend

all the while, village dogs peruse the school in search of food
except for kiara, the one who knows better than to be rude
she's made herself part of our school community
well, other than the time dedicated to drinking tea

then i reach my homeroom class, which is smothered in glacier blue
signs plastered: 'oh the places you'll go' and 'the things you'll do'
you can always count on one thing each morning
albin and oliver will reach school just after that bell does ring

a quick announcement and a birthday song
words of encouragement to inspire them for the whole day long
then off to their classes, my 9B learners pour out
individual greetings of 'morning sir' overcoming loud learner shouts

three classes of english, each and every day
catching up on my grammar so i know what to say
correcting 'me I' and writing formal letters
delving into Holes and the life of the Potters

memorable moments teaching these older kids of mine
(well, once they greet me and tell me they're fine…)
some are almost adults with kids of their own
and yet their jaws still drop when I tell them I've flown

so many times grammar lessons become debates
on female rights, the cold war--learners become irate
but its getting them excited and passionate about the world
and anticipating the results that are sure to be unfurled

you can always count on mashika to make a controversial statement
while khashera shies in the back insanely self-confident
then prisca provides the exact answer im looking for, no doubt
mangundu wanting one on one attention, if not, he'll pout

titus reads in his American accent, perhaps to mock
while shambi looks to his hand as if it were a clock
you can barely hear masoya's voice but his swag that matters
and if its in english, I can tolerate the endless chatter

but lest we not forget my mathematics classes, there are two
forty learners in each, rarely described as too few
the mission is to make math the cool thing to do
but coming from an american, its an easy thing to cue

the 9B's return to their home of glacier blue
welcome back i proclaim, 'I missed you too'
knowing these kids and how to make them chuckle
a corny joke is all it takes--like pretending to undo my buckle

checking homework and kids pleading for marks
you'd think i were a fish swimming among sharks
on that occasion that that homework is incomplete
a fat red zero and a commotion of shrieks, they'll meet

motivating learners to tackle algebra and angles galore
bruising competitions for sweets makes math part of their core
who would have thought id love teaching math?
fellow rat packers, ill be awaiting your wrath

posing a question, and hands reach high
moses is never wrong, i wouldn't be surprised if this boy can fly
my namesake and john, the youngest in the class
reminding them of their smarts always leads to their sass
max and limbu forgetting im not their friend
while muremi chills at his desk not realizing the lesson did end

in case you didnt hear the ring of the bell
school day is over, your body's in a swell
navigating past children, is that a parade?
nah, merely just a lunch rush that some would call a raid

stepping around goat droppings to reach my abode 
sometimes i go days without even seeing a road
this school sometimes seems like its own small world
couldn't imagine it any better even if it were self-swirled 

finally a chance to shower (splash my body with cold water)
peaking out my window, a goat was slaughtered
joseph and I indulge in our traditional cuisine
macaroni and mayo--and yet I've managed to stay lean

attempts at a nap often become moot
knocks at a door, perhaps Kupi bringing medicinal root
then a learner asking for a key to a room
one time, they even tripped over my broom!

but 'just like that', its time for afternoon study
all the kids return to school, somehow muddy
perhaps it was the rain storm that drenched us all
avoiding lightening a must, otherwise you'd die (and fall)

during this time, working with my kids one on one
therefore it becomes a bit more fun
no longer dressed in a tie, but my chelsea shirt
girls asking for extra help (or perhaps just to flirt)

then I procure T-Pain, the president of GLOW club
meet with the members, yes some kids got the snub
dramas, dances, and the infamous food competition
sporting their shirts to show their pride for our mission
becoming leaders while respecting them and you
candid talks with these kids is what we do
challenging norms when it comes to dates
a standing ovation for my speech on respecting your mate

after, my laptop comes out and chaos ensues
kids encircling my body, most are not wearing shoes
shouts of impressed kids with each letter I type
sadly, my typing skills are not worth the hype

then my head looks away and up towards the sky
puffy clouds that gushing red, thus a pleasureful sigh
before i know it, anna and mufenda procure me
head out the door that cant lock, no need for a key

we trapeze past learners with heads in books
past the tent for our bushmen (theres not even a nook)
we reach the ends of the school and the start of the gravel road
we peruse the streets, the four of us talking in code

trucks whiz by originating in zambia or the DRC
while were on our way to Timanyambi
the jukebox spits out the latest nam tune
sausage and beers under our only light, the moon
sharing stories from their homes and mine
ignoring the sight of racing baby swine
divulging a plan to move to america in a year
and yet I'm merely left with a sneer

my American girl, she does come by
I chase after her and Sabina's mid-cry
crocs in the river, pool at the sheebeen
even in forbidden forest, were always seeen
and its all cemented: ndiyona is home
which place wouldn't be when, with Kasiku, I get to roam?

but then, as most do, the day does end
in bed avoiding insects (I've learned to mend)
and finally a chance to think
soon this will end, in an eye's blink
cannot even imagine how much of this I'll miss
the life of absolute pure bliss.

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